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Updated: 08/07/2013 7:35 AM
Created: 08/06/2013 6:22 PM KSTP.com | Print |  Email
By: Tim Sherno

X-Rays Help MnDOT Crews Find Potential Problems in Roads

Imagine being able to X-ray a road. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to check newly paved roads and existing bridge decks.

MnDOT says the technology helps save time, money and potentially lives.

Duane Green is a Maintenance Operations Engineer for structures at MnDOT; he says crews used to check bridge decks by dragging a chain along the surface of the pavement to listen for hollow spots.

GPR is mounted on vans and can check surfaces by driving in traffic. "That eliminates setting up lane closures," he said.

Dr. Shongtao Dai is a Research Administrative Engineer at MnDOT; he says GPR helps crews quickly spot potential problem areas, pinpointing where sample cores should be extracted, "We're taking cores to get density and also pavement thickness."

Dr. Shongtao says MnDOT is working with the Federal Department of Transportation to develop 3D GPR and that one day trucks could drive Minnesota highways and find problem areas before they have time to develop.


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